7th Jul 2012 6:00pm
7th Jul 2012 7:00pm
FIRE ON THE SNOW (Excerpts/Concert Version)- Libretto by Paul Weingott/Scott McIntyre
Music by Scott McIntyre
Jamie Allen as Robert Falcon Scott
Benjamin Martin as Lawrence Oates
Mick Lampard as Edward Wilson
Phil Joughin as Henry Bowers
Nick Caddick as Edgar Evans
Conducted by Gary Wain
Conservatorium Recital Hall
5 Sandy Bay Road, Hobart
All Tickets $10
Tickets available at the door 30 minutes prior to the performance
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WORLD PREMIERE OF FIRE ON THE SNOW
The World premiere production of the new opera Fire on the Snow will be at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music in July 2012. This contemporary music theatre work will showcase the music of Scott McIntyre, libretto by Paul Weingott and the talent of local singers & musicians conducted by Gary Wain. We witness five courageous men, led by one of the most distinctive figures in Antarctic exploration, Captain Robert Falcon Scott, whose driving ambition to be the first to reach the geographical South Pole in the cause of British science and industry, would inevitably lead them all to their terrible deaths in the bitter and unrelenting environment of the great ice continent. The librettoââââ‚¬š¬™s narrative consists of a number of movements or episodes, each punctuated by the Announcer who foreshadows and comments on the action much as a Greek chorus might do. The narrative no longer takes the linear path it does in the play text but now acts like memory where form is malleable, fluid and changeable. Each episode sits inside the moving poem of the whole work and behaves in the way that memories do; triggered sensorially and viscerally by association. The opera opens with Scott, trapped in his tent; freezing to death as his comrades have before him. Scott is writing his final diary entry; alone with his memories. Outside the tent, a blizzard batters and rips into his last minutes of life. Itââââ‚¬š¬™s in these opening moments that the audience is engaged in Scottââââ‚¬š¬™s dream and the action of the opera. First, to the frigid nightmare at the pole and then back in time through their extraordinary struggle for survival and concluding with the warm irony of the initial high emotions of anticipated success.
The music explores concepts of space and time, creating a powerful immersive environment of angular string melodies and sparse, staccato percussive interludes. The hypnotic and stark sounds bristle with a dark energy which consistently allows for a compelling vocal virtuosity.
The narrative concerns the dash to the Pole by the tragically flawed British Antarctic Expedition 1910 -13. On arriving at the Pole, the intrepid five, find they have been beaten there, only a matter of weeks before, by Roald Amundsen and his Norwegian team. Desperately disappointed and exhausted with having to man-haul their sledges, they become trapped by the unpredictable weather. The way the men met their fate struck a cord with the English-speaking world. Despite it being the most incompetent failure in the history of Antarctic exploration, the plight of the heroic five became a symbol of resolve, and an inspiration for those who followed. One hundred years later this tragic event has taken on mythic proportion and continues to resonate in the collective memory.